Smoking Is Linked to Body Pain, Especially in the Spine
Current smoking has been linked to the presence of pain throughout all regions of the body, with spinal pain being the most significantly associated, according to the results of a recent study.
For their study, the researchers utilized data from the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including pain reports, smoking history, demographics, and medical history from 2307 participants. They used both unpaired t tests for independent continuous variables and chi-square tests for categorical variables between the smoking and nonsmoking groups. To determine the association in question, the researchers used weighted multivariate logistic regression analyses.
Spine pain was found to be most strongly linked to smoking (odds ratio [OR] 2.89; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.21-3.77), followed by headache (OR 2.47; 95% CI, 1.73-3.53), trunk pain (OR 2.17; 95% CI, 1.45-2.74), and limb pain (OR 1.99, 95% CI, 1.45-2.73).
“Current smoking is associated with pain in every region of the body. This association is strongest for spine and head pain. Given that pain is a strong motivator and that current smoking was associated with pain in all body regions, we recommend that these results be used to further raise public awareness about the potential harms of smoking,” the researchers concluded.
Smuck M, Schneider BJ, Ehsanian R, Martin E, Kao MJ. Smoking is associated with pain in all body regions, with greatest influence on spinal pain. Pain Med. 2020;21(9):1759-1768. Doi: 10.1093/pm/pnz224